- Says 2019 election will be tough
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The immediate past National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), John Oyegun, has expressed concern over the current crisis rocking some state chapters of the party. He has therefore, urged aggrieved members to embrace the ongoing reconciliation efforts being pushed forward by the leadership of the party.
Oyegun, who spoke during interactive session with journalists in Abuja, said there was the need for compromise for peace to reign, advising APC’s members to unite in order to confront the election in February next year, which he said given the state of the nation now, is bound to be challenging.
Oyegun, who said he is now playing the role of elder statesman, however, advised the party not to spare any effort to establish peace such that the party will approach the general elections as a united force and rally around a united programme of action.
Crisis had trailed the primary elections organised by the APC leading to revolt and defections of members across the states.
When asked if he was disturbed about the situation, Oyegun said: “Well I can say something for sure that I am not happy as to the state of peace or the relative instability in the party. I don’t think I know someone who is happy today about that. But like I said earlier, there are peace missions that I have found all over the country and so at this point in time it will be ill opportune for me to start saying oh! things went bad because that happened or because that did not happen. But as an elder statesman, let me not start passing my own personal judgement, when there is a team out trying to broker peace. I won’t be helping the situation.
“What we require is peace. I pray God gives these teams the wisdom that is required to work out the settlement to bring the party back to strong political party fighting force.”
While appealing to APC’s members to show understanding and be loyal to the party, Oyegun said every effort should be made to establish peace such that the party could approach the elections with a united voice.
“There is no question that there is a lot of very serious disputation within the party. I am very glad that peace teams had been sent out. I am glad to run into one of the teams, while I was on a personal engagement in the South East, and it is my prayer that they achieve the goals for which they were set up and for which they have been sent out.
“But, it is necessary to state that for peace to happen, there is need to emphasize that all sides must be ready to give and to take. There must be willingness for compromise such that it can bring the party back together in such a fighting mood. We need to begin to confront the election in February next year, which given the state of the nation, are bound to be challenging,” he said.
The former APC national chairman also expressed concern over what he described incidents of falsehood, character assassination and hate speech ahead of the general elections.
According to Oyegun, the way politicians are dwelling on irrelevant issues to the detriment of real issues that should form debates for the election, does not augur well for the country.
Oyegun also disagreed with the view expressed by the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja that the presidential candidates of the APC and PDP are both undesirable candidates, saying that it is not possible to have angels preside over the affairs of the country at the moment.
“My support for President Buhari, apart from that original empathy with him over so many years, is that when you look around the field, today, both from his achievements, I still consider him by far the best person that we have for President for the next four years,” he said.